Lyft’s IPO is hot, YC demo day, two new unicorns, and what’s Boy Brow?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm took us through an IPO, a big round, 943 startup pitches, two new unicorns, and some scooter news. A very 2019 mix, really. Up first we took a peek at the…

Keatz, a European ‘cloud kitchen’ startup, raises further €12M

Keatz, one of a growing number of so-called “cloud kitchens” — delivery only restaurant brands running on the rails of Deliveroo and UberEats — has raised €12 million in new funding. Backing the round are existing investors Project A Ventures, Atlantic Labs, UStart, K Fund and JME Ventures, who are joined by RTP Global. It…

To fund Y Combinator’s top startups, VCs scoop them before Demo Day

Hundreds gathered this week at San Francisco’s Pier 48 to see the more than 200 companies in Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 cohort present their two-minute pitches. The audience of venture capitalists, who collectively manage hundreds of billions of dollars, noted their favorites. The very best investors, however, had already had their pick of the litter….

Gig workers need health & benefits. Catch is their safety net

One of the hottest Y Combinator startups just raised a big seed round to clean up the mess created by Uber, Postmates, and the gig economy. Catch sells health insurance, retirement savings plans, and tax withholding directly to freelancers, contractors, or anyone uncovered. By building and curating simplified benefits services, Catch can offer a safety…

Robotics process automation startup UiPath raising $400M at more than $7B valuation

UiPath, a robotics process automation platform targeting IT businesses, is raising more than $400 million in Series D funding from venture capital investors at a valuation north of $7 billion, sources have confirmed to TechCrunch following a report from Business Insider. We’ve reached out to the company for comment. UiPath, founded in 2005, has raised…

Rent the Runway hits a $1 billion valuation

Rent the Runway just closed a $125 million led by Franklin Templeton Investments and Bain Capital Ventures. This round values the company at $1 billion. In total, Rent the Runway has raised $337 million in venture funding. “Shared, dynamic ownership is a movement that Rent the Runway has pioneered over the last decade and we’re…

Epic Games CEO says Apex Legends hasn’t made a dent in Fortnite

In the wake of Apex Legends, which has briskly grown to 50 million players, many have wondered whether Fortnite has felt the impact. But Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told GamesBeat that Apex hasn’t really made a dent. Without being asked about Apex Legends, Sweeney said “an Apex Legends worth” of players have come over…

Ludlow Ventures raises $45m for third fund

Ludlow Ventures raised another $45 million to invest in young startups. The Detroit-based venture firm is today announcing it closed its third fund since the firm’s founding in 2010. Founding and managing partner Jonathon Triest tells TechCrunch the firm set out to raise another $45M and were immediately oversubscribed. Triest says Ludlow Ventures, with its…